Category Archives: Ward Churchill

Report Back on Anti-Police Demo

Report Back on Anti-Police Demo

(raimd.wordpress.com)

On August 28th, a march against police brutality was held in Denver, Colorado.  The march was held in response to a series of police brutality cases coming to light.

The march was organized by members of Aurora Copwatch, West Denver Copwatch and the All Nations Alliance.  Though the pig media lied and initially reported only “dozens” of protesters, at its height on the 16th Street Mall there were well over 200 participants, including not only much of the more ‘radical’ of the Denver activist scene but also people who had joined in as the march passed by.

The recent cases of police brutality and the reaction they sparked have been unprecedented.  They have led to Mayor John Hickenlooper, who is running for governor this year,  to bring in the FBI to investigate certain cases.  It has also led to city public safety manager Ron Perea resigning,
and the city council settling many cases with millions of city dollars.(1)

The public anger of these cases, and many others not as known, set the mood for this march.  Days before the march a group of religious leaders denounced plans for a march, and instead called for talks with the pigs to reform themselves.(2)  But one cannot negotiate with pigs, and many people outraged about the incidents came out to show it that day.  In the press release announcing the march the organizers announced:  “It is anticipated that Denver police will be present during the march. We want to be clear in our position that due to the actions of its officers, we no longer trust DPD with its ability to protect our community.  We request for the safety of the community members present at the march and rally, and that law enforcement officials keep a reasonable distance from the participants. We are engaging in a peaceful, non-violent exercise of our federally protected First Amendment rights and DPD interference is not welcome.”(3)

The march began by the downtown skatepark, next to where Mark Ashford was beat up by two Denver pigs. He was beaten after speaking with the driver of a vehicle the police had pulled over wrongly, offering to be a witness for the driver in court. The next stop of the march was at 15th St. and Larimer, where Micheal DeHerrera was assaulted by Denver’s grimiest as he was was talking on the phone outside of a club while police were arresting his friend. These two incidents of police brutality were videotaped by H.A.L.O., a network of video surveillance cameras in the downtown area monitored by the Denver Pig Department. The march and protest ended at  Denver’s new $158 million, 1500 prisoner capacity “Justice” Center. There, Marvin Booker, a Black street preacher arrested on drug paraphenalia charges, was killed by the pigs running the detention center. He was beaten to death after he reached to get his shoes, his only possessions of value.  The pigs have refused to release a video tape of the death citing ongoing investigations, but with the similarities to a previous death in police custody, many see an ongoing cover up that has been typical of DPD.

The protesters carried signs and banners. One read, “All Cops are Murderers.”  Others listed the names of recent police victims. RAIM brought signs that read : “Fuck Pigs (And Snitches),” “Self Defense Makes Sense, Defeat Nazi Pigs,” and “Revolution is Good! Resist Amerikkkan Occupation.” Unlike other activist marches in the city, the militancy of this march was evident from the beginning.  The march started with a chant “No Justice No Peace, Fuck the Police.”  Other chants that echoed through the march were “Oink Oink, Bang Bang, Everyday the Same Old Thing,” “Cops, Pigs, Murderers,” and “When Our Communities Are Under Attack, What Do We Do? Stand Up, Fight Back!”  RAIM also did its modest part to raise the militancy of the march, helping lead and initiate such chants through a megaphone.

Overall, like most marches in the First World, the message was mixed to the effect of confusing friends and enemies and in the process miscalculating the actual strength of each.

One positive thing was the rhetorical refutation of pacifism. When the crowd began chanting emotionally-charged slogans, one person put up a peace sign with their fingers. One pacifist type berated a RAIMer for leading slogans against the pigs through a megaphone, saying to us some metaphysical tripe about love conquering hate and peace overcoming violence.  We politely brushed the person off and continued to assist in leading chants. Beyond the inane idea that RAIM-Denver was acting violently with no more power than a megaphone is the ideological wrecking-ball that is pacifism. While ultimately the degree of militancy in a single march in Denver is inconsequential, the idea itself, spread by well-to-do cracker-liberals from places like Boulder and Denver, is poisonous to the struggles of oppressed and exploited peoples globally. In a sense, pacifism is much like Christianity in that it is promoted to Third World peoples by Amerikans and various organizations they support, to the effect of diverting the proletarian from actual strategies for liberation. (We suggest everyone read Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill and Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams for arguments against pacifism.)

With the presence and influence of pacifists and deescalaters limited, the march soon took parts of the streets, which isn’t usual for Denver protests. The pigs themselves stayed out of sight the whole time. This was a PR tactic as their presence would have surely escalated the toned of the march further and perhaps created even more instances of brutality. But we are sure that they were observing the march from a distance.

At the end of the march, in front of the Injustice Center, the crowd chanted “Fire to the Prisons” and Asesinos, Spanish for “Assassins.”  There were speeches by activists highlighting the above pig terror cases and by victims of pig brutality telling the crowd their experiences.  A coffin symbolizing the death of Marvin Booker was brought by the marchers and left there at the jail.

Common with virtually all protests in Denver and occupied North America was the great number of stares from people not participating. At times, the march walked past restaurants in affluent neighborhoods. Some protesters expressed affinity with the diners, encouraging them to join the march. Allusions were made that even the rich ‘liberal’ Denverite gawkers would “stand up” against the police.

We ask, why muddy up the picture with outright First Worldism? Rather, these people should be identified, albeit not merely in an agitational manner, for what they are: parasite reactionaries who more often than not support the pigs and the system they represent. Needless to say, the ‘militant’ pleas to shoppers and diners were fruitless.  Ultimately, it was chants of ‘Fuck the Police!’ which got large numbers of passer-by youth to join the demonstration, not pacifism or First Worldism.

At another point in the march, the protesters paused to repeat a chant part of which said that they themselves had “…nothing to lose but our chains” (origanally said by Marx, but of course not attributed to him in the chant).  RAIM didn’t participate in the contrived bit of self-delusion. We ask those who did to compare themselves to the average person from Latin America, Africa or Asia and take an honest account of the many things they could in fact lose. Though such slogans might give oneself a short-lived sense of self-importance, they do little in the long run to advance the revolutionary struggle. It is only by taking a realistic account of the world that one can hope to meaningfully advance the revolutionary struggle.

The contradiction between the police (or more accurately the system they represent) and the majority of Amerikans is not antagonistic, i.e. it will not lead to sustained revolutionary struggle. Not to say that we do not support reform efforts to reduce police terror, but only see the limitations that these reform efforts will do.  There will be attempts by the city to appease the public outrage with more “accountability”, but police brutality is but a symptom of an unjust social order.  Thus it will continue, as in these cases against non-white oppressed nationality peoples and others outside of mainstream society.  Thus RAIM sees any effective revolutionary strategy inside imperialist Amerika as minoritarian, one that effectively repudiates the majority of Amerikans while seeking to work in alliance with the broad masses of the Third World, whom do in fact constitute majorities in their respective homelands. So-called radicals should promote an independent identity and culture of resistance amongst the oppressed in Amerika as well as a spirit of affinity and solidarity with the Third World masses, not a fallacious, reformist and First Worldist ‘unity’ between the oppressed and White activists as a stand in for a non-existent White proletarian.

More actions on these cases will come up, as they have been so publicized they will stay in the spotlight.

==============

Here is a video of the march from West Denver Copwatch.  Check out their website for more information about these cases and their interactive database of Denver pig activity.

Sources:

1.  http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/excessive.force.denver.2.1878320.html

2. http://cbs4denver.com/news/ministers.chief.talk.2.1877579.html

3. http://westdenvercopwatch.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/press-release-for-saturday-march-and-rally/

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Filed under Actions and Events, Anti-Racism, Black Nation, Black-ops, News and Analysis, Occupied Mexico/Aztlan, Organizing, Police Brutality, Videos, Ward Churchill, White Amerika, Youth

MSH: Pigs deny Ward Churchill job and damages

ward_churchill_01
Pigs deny Ward Churchill job and damages

(monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

In a recent ruling Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves ruled against Ward Churchill’s request to be reinstated to Colorado University and against financial damages. This ruling is a contrast to the jury verdict in April that concluded that Churchill was illegally removed from his position for his political beliefs. The ruling gives regents of the University a free hand to fire whomever they want for their political beliefs. Churchill’s attorney David Lane stated:

“It’s an extremely rare thing for a judge to throw out a jury verdict — that’s big, that doesn’t happen… Here it’s being done at the expense of the Constitution of the United States of America, and it’s really a tragedy. It sends the message to the public of, ‘Oh, jury verdicts. Who cares?’”

Churchill lost his job after attention was drawn to an essay that he had written following the 9/11 attacks. In his essay, Churchill called those who died in the twin towers “little Eichmanns.” Thus Churchill compared the technocrats who worked in the Trade Center maintaining the US empire with technocrats in Nazi Germany. Churchill’s point is hardly radical. Churchill’s point comes from the work of Hannah Arendt’s account of the trial of Adolph Eichmann. The Nazi bureaucrat Eichmann, according to Arendt, was a banal individual whose evil was not motivated by strong ideological beliefs, but rather by conformism and careerism. The evil of empire is made possible by a large strata of ordinary people who contribute to the evil of the system by staffing its bureaucracy. Like the verdicts at Nuremberg, Churchill’s point is that “I was just doing my job, just following orders” is not an acceptable defense for evil. Like the leaders of empire, the functionaries of empire are also responsible for its crimes. There is collective responsibility for the crimes of empire that go beyond the small circle of ideologists and figureheads who make policy.

The ruling is an unhappy ending to a long witch hunt. The ruling is a blow to academic freedom.

Source:

1. http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2009/jul/07/ward-churchill-job-university-colorado-boulder/

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Ward Churchill Wins! $1 in damages.

churchillpriceless1

Ward Churchill Wins! $1 in damages.

(raimd.wordpress.com)

Ward Churchill was victorious in his lawsuit against the University of Colorado, Boulder, with the jury awarding him $1, the minimum amount allowed, as Churchill did not seek monetary damages. Ward was not seeking money but justice, and to get his previous job back. That part of the struggle is still to be determined.

As quoted from the Denver Post:

“Churchill briefly spoke outside the courtroom and said, “It took four years. It took a while. And it was quick, it was justice.”

CU “has been exposed for what it is,” Churchill said.

“It was found by a jury that I was wrongly fired,” he said. “They not only violated my rights, but my students’ rights and the community’s rights.”

Churchill said he was satisfied with a $1 judgment and said his case was not about money.

“Reinstatement, of course,” he said. “I did not ask for money. I asked for justice.”

*Denver Post, Felicia Cardona, 4/3/09.

As we stated over a year ago in our write-up “Ward Churchill Fired for Calling Little Eichmanns Little Eichmanns” when the CU Regents fired Churchill:

“Churchill plans to initiate a lawsuit against the University. RAIM-Denver wishes him success… The overwhelming issue from supporters was one of academic freedom. Many stood by Churchill while making sure to say that they didn’t agree with what he said. RAIM-D on the other hand says that not only does Churchill have a right to say what he said, but was right in what he said. Amerikkkans are not innocent of the crimes committed by their parasite imperialist nation. Plus they shouldn’t be surprised when those angered by its atrocities decide to hit back. The truth hurts, but Amerikkka has been in its luxury dugout too long.”

The fate of his job, and the judgment of the legal fees for his lawyer David Lane and staff, will still be decided by the judge in this case. Stay tuned for these developments.

There have been some great blogs covering this struggle that we recommend.

Open Anthropology, the source for the graphic above, is a dissident academic with good analysis of the Churchill case, as well as other topics RAIM has interests in too.  http://openanthropology.wordpress.com/

Also our honorary dissident academic Ben Whitmer hosts the Ward Churchill Trial blog.  Great news and analysis on the whole trial through and through. A round on us for your hard work. http://wardchurchilltrial.wordpress.com/

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Ben Whitmer: Why I Support Ward Churchill

(raimd.wordpress.com)

[Ben Whitmer is a long time supporter of Indigenous struggles and has been at the forefront of the local campaign to support Ward. Currently, he maintains the Ward Churchill solidarity blog, wardchurchilltrial.wordpress.com]

I’ve spent four years defending Ward Churchill in every way I could think to do so.‭ ‬And not because of any esoteric principle of academic freedom.‭ ‬If my time in universities has taught me anything,‭ ‬it’s that trying to inject principle into academia is as worthwhile as trying to train geese to shit indoors.‭ ‬Likewise,‭ ‬though I’m about as vehement a proponent of the human right to free expression as you’re likely to meet,‭ ‬I find the idea that it’s routinely abrogated‭ – ‬both by the right and the ‘left’‭ – ‬about as shocking as the daily sunrise.

I defend Ward Churchill because he was the first to write the obvious about the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September‭ ‬11,‭ ‬2001.‭ ‬That the technocrats on the upper levels of the World Trade Center weren’t targeted because they provided some symbolically metaphysical representation of American power‭; ‬they were targeted because they made their living on the bodies of Arab children.‭ ‬This is not to say that everyone in the World Trade Center was a‭ “‬little Eichmann‭”‬,‭ ‬a point Churchill made clear.‭ ‬He used a different term for the service workers and children in the World Trade Center,‭ ‬one popularized by the US military.‭ ‬They were‭ “‬collateral damage‭”‬,‭ ‬a miraculously precise and objective term that,‭ ‬as the reaction to Ward Churchill’s essay evidences,‭ ‬is divested of all precision and objectivity when one is staring at the corpses of their own dead.

In other words,‭ ‬I defend Ward Churchill because,‭ ‬not in spite,‭ ‬of his little Eichmann metaphor.‭ ‬It does everything a good metaphor should do.‭  ‬It manages to convey new meanings to both the subject and the object,‭ ‬and to expand the discourse surrounding both.‭ ‬From Churchill we learned a new way to perceive the technocrats at the top of the World Trade Center,‭ ‬just as we learned a new way to perceive Eichmann.‭ ‬And from these perceptions,‭ ‬many of us learned something indispensable about the bureaucratic functioning of power.

Churchill’s essay captured the national discourse in a way I can’t remember a piece of writing doing in my lifetime.‭  ‬That conservative talk shows from O’Reilly on down spent a three-month chunk of airtime feverishly denying Churchill’s metaphor,‭ ‬only speaks to its uncomfortable aptness.‭  ‬And one wasn’t able to open a leftist publication for months after the scandal broke without finding dozens of essays,‭ ‬letters to the editor,‭ ‬and opinion columns that‭ (‬1‭) ‬stated general agreement with Churchill on principle,‭ (‬2‭) ‬provided a typically tepid criticism of US foreign policy,‭ ‬and then,‭ (‬3‭) ‬moved to eviscerate him for the imperfection of his metaphor.‭  ‬Of course,‭ ‬these betrayed more about the authors‭’ ‬misunderstanding of metaphor than Churchill’s misuse of it.‭  ‬A metaphor is imperfect by its nature.‭  ‬That’s the point.‭  ‬A perfect metaphor,‭ ‬after all,‭ ‬would be a synonym.

That’s why I defend Ward Churchill,‭ ‬because his imperfect metaphor that was far more apt than any of the grotesque gibbering about heroism and innocence that flooded the nation after‭ ‬9/11.‭ ‬Because his was the only voice to question the sanctification of the economic interests that the World Trade Center represented.‭ ‬To quote Mumia Abu Jamal,‭ “‬it is not enough for us to merely,‭ ‬dumbly intone that Churchill has the right to write what he does.‭ ‬No we must do more,‭ ‬we must insist that Churchill is right,‭ ‬and no one,‭ ‬not some rabid talk show parrot,‭ ‬nor political whore like governor Bill Owens,‭ ‬has a right to demand what is wrong.‭”

In other words,‭ ‬I defend Ward Churchill because,‭ ‬as RAIM has so eloquently put it,‭ ‬I defend the right to call little Eichmanns little Eichmanns.

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Forbidden Education: Rise of NeoMcCarthyism

From the CU Boulder Student Group 180*11
http://www.180degreeshift.org

Students for TRUE Academic Freedom, the 180 Degree Shift at the 11th Hour, and the Student Environmental Action Coaliton are hosting an event in conjunction with Ward Churchill’s landmark academic freedom lawsuit against the University of Colorado. Churchill’s legal suit for violating his first amendment rights begins March 9th. Therefore, we are bringing well known activist-scholars Derrick Jensen and Bill Ayers to voice their strong support for Churchill and political dissent in academia. Their presentations will unveil the mask of liberal academia and link Churchill’s fight with other scholars who have been attacked for their strong beliefs. If we want our universities to embody institutions of critical inquiry, then we must not only support scholars such as Ward Churchill, but also view these attacks in context. Come and hear the shocking truths behind the right-wing attacks on Churchill. Hear what they don’t want you to know!

Event is FREE for CU Students, Community Members $5 in advance, $6-10 Sliding Scale at the Door tickets available at UMC Connection, King Soopers, and Ticketswest.com

DERRICK JENSEN, activist, small farmer, teacher, and philosopher, is the author of A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe (a finalist for the 2003 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize) among other titles. Jensen’s writing has been described as “breaking and mending the reader’s heart” (Publishers Weekly). He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine, among many others. Jensen’s speaking engagements in recent years have packed university auditoriums, conferences, and bookstores across the nation.

WILLIAM AYERS, is an American elementary education theorist who was a 1960s anti-war activist. He is known for the radical nature of his activism in the 1960s and 1970s as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the radical left organization the Weather Underground. He is now a professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. Ayers’ ties with President Barrack Obama were matters of some controversy for the candidate from John McCain in the 2008 election.

For More Info Email: studentsfortrueacademicfreedom@gmail.com

Thursday, March 5th 7pm

UMC Glen Miller Ball Room

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Ward Churchill Trial Blog Launched

Ward Churchill’s lawsuit against the University of KKKolorado begins on March 9th. In preparation for the trial, The Ward Churchill Trial blog is up and running.

Also, see what all the hoopla is about. Read and distribute Ghosts of 9/11 and Pacifism as Pathology.

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Ward Churchill Speaking Event Hosted by DU NLG

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